Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mostly Harmless…

Eh…so that wasn’t as bad as most people thought. The Conservatives get a small minority, but are held pretty firmly in check by a sizeable Opposition who will let the Conservatives get away with so much, but not too much. For example, they will get away with anti-corruption legislation, more money for the military and some tax breaks. But I highly doubt they will get far messing with social policy, such as abortion or same sex marriage.

Yes, the Liberals aren’t going to want to topple the government for at least a year or more and that does leave them vulnerable to the Conservatives trying to ram some thing through. But again, the Conservatives want to get reelected. This wasn’t a vote from a group of people deeply in love with Harper and the Conservatives. This was a vote from people who felt, for the most part, like they had no choice but to spank the Liberals.

Hardly a ringing endorsement.

Shockingly enough, I haven’t heard of anything boneheaded being said by a Tory winner last night. Perhaps Harper has put subcutunous electrical devices in each one of them. Just before they’re about to say something retarded, they get a small electrical shock. Don’t be surprised if you see lots of Tories twitching and spasming in the coming weeks.

Oh, as for my predictions…they pretty well sucked. But hey, I got the NDP number right.

As for big winner or losers, I’m not sure there were any. The Conservatives won, which makes them a winner. But they certainly didn’t win the number of seats they were hoping for.

The Liberals lost, which makes them losers. But considering some predictions had them with about 60 seats and barely ahead of the BQ for Opposition leaders, they’ve still got to be happy.

The NDP finished fourth, but picked up 11 seats. Still, they were in the low 30s for awhile. I’m sure they were hoping for a few more seats and to be the balance of power.

The one party with nothing to spin, I guess, was the BQ. There was talk of 60 or more seats and a popular vote of better than the magic 50%. But they lost 6% and lost three (nearly four) seats. Good luck spinning that.

Good on them, by the way. It’s nice to see that it wasn’t people embracing sovereignty in Quebec with the early poll numbers, but just being furious with the Liberals. Sovereignty remains where it generally does in Quebec – around 40%.

As for Paul Martin, I’m reminded of a quote I once heard about President Bill Clinton. I’m paraphrasing here, but it was roughly this: “In between the potential of Bill Clinton and the reality of Bill Clinton lies his tragedy. The tragedy of the waste of what should have been.”

I think that works for Martin. He could have been a great prime minister, but it just never happened. There will be lots of articles and books written about that, assessing blame and praise. Let’s just say it didn’t work out for him. But at least he did the smart and classy thing of stepping down right away. I’d say a Liberal leadership convention around November. Too soon to say who will win, but surely McKenna, Tobin and Manley will be running.

A couple of other numbers, although not as impressive.
Percentage of eligible voters who voted in Newfoundland – 56.8%
Percentage of eligible voters who voted in Canada – 64.9%

Better than in 2004, but still kind of pathetic.


Pat the Wench said...

I heard a shocking rumour on CBC radio this morning ... Tobin is considering a run for the leadership!!! Thought of you and your crystal balls ...

Anonymous said...

Good roundup, Craig. I think you nailed 'er.

Jeez, those ballot numbers are lower than I thought.

towniebastard said...

I've always been told they're very impressive, Pat...

And those ballot numbers are still kind of sad, Nancy. This was a long, well publicized, engaging election and 35% of people couldn't be bothered to go and vote. It frustrated me to no end. Some countries tax people for not voting. I'm not going that far, but I reserve the right to smack people upside the head if I find out they didn't vote.

Tom said...

Thise who didn't vote should be force to wear a headband proclaiming their apathy, and for every insult hurled at them by the voting pulic, they must shout "Thank you, may I have another?!"

Just an idea......